Khalid to audit Alam Flora contracts, seeks new tender system

By Wong Choon Mei, Suara Keadilan

Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim said an audit committee will be set up to look into contracts awarded by waste management firm Alam Flora to make sure that these were granted to “genuine operators” and not to parties linked to politicians.

In the meantime, the state was also looking into a more transparent and accountable tender system so that corrupt practices and kickbacks to politicians could be weeded out, he added.

“The audit committee will be conducting ground checks and inspecting the value of the services provided,” Khalid said in a statement issued on Friday.

“Companies that are found to be brokers will have their contracts withdrawn immediately and these cases will be reported to the relevant authorities.

“The state government hopes that the formation of the committee will curb the unhealthy practice of awarding contracts to brokers instead of genuine operators.

“This practice was rampant under the previous state government and the Pakatan Rakyat government in Selangor has no intention to continue such unethical trend.”

Most of the contracts distributed during the Khir Toyo days

His administration was recently accused of distributing Alam Flora contracts to Pakatan partners, with PKR taking 40 percent, DAP and PAS getting 30 percent each.

The accusation was made by Petaling Jaya councillor A Thiruvenggadam, with both Gerakan Youth and Umno Youth jumping into the fray issuing media statements and lodging a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

According to PKR information chief Latheefa Koya, who is also a PJ city councillor, many of the contracts granted by Alam Flora were nearing maturity. Most of these had been distributed during the previous Selangor state administration run by Umno leader Khir Toyo.

As a result, there was now tremendous competition to get the contracts renewed, with many firms unabashedly trying all ways and means, including using the political route and instigating state assemblymen and other politicians.

Latheefa had said Khalid would be reviewing terms of contract with Alam Flora. He is currently bound to follow the conditions agreed to by Khir Toyo’s government.

Competitive tender

Another PKR leader and Subang MP Sivarasa Rasiah had also said while some companies were recommended by Pakatan parties, the final decision still rested with Alam Flora.

“Individuals, and including leaders of political parties will make recommendations and we see no harm in that absolutely. That is quite normal and not a problem for us. At the most, this is a guideline but this is in no way binding on Alam Flora,” said the PKR vice president.

“The decision maker is Alam Flora because some people are trying to give the impression that it is the party and Pakatan that are deciding, and that is not true.

Meanwhile DAP information chief Tony Pua urged the Selangor administration to consider a competitive tender system.

He also called on Selangor executive councillor for infrastructure and public amenities Hassan Ali, the PAS leader who is also in charge of Alam Flora waste management services, to confirm or deny the allegations.

“Political parties have no position, business or role in putting forward names of preferred contractors for the purposes of municipal council contracts,” he said.

“We are firm in our belief that these contracts must be tendered to all qualified parties in an open, transparent and competitive manner. Only then will the rakyat receive the best quality services at the lowest possible prices.”